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Oakley Wood Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Bishop's Tachbrook, Warwickshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.2308 / 52°13'50"N

Longitude: -1.5524 / 1°33'8"W

OS Eastings: 430667.991219

OS Northings: 259270.650355

OS Grid: SP306592

Mapcode National: GBR 5MY.4BJ

Mapcode Global: VHBXX.16P6

Entry Name: Oakley Wood Camp

Scheduled Date: 10 August 1923

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003742

English Heritage Legacy ID: WA 12

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Bishop's Tachbrook

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Bishop's Tachbrook St Chad

Church of England Diocese: Coventry

Summary

Slight univallate hillfort 550m south west of Tollgate Farm.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 June 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.

This monument includes a slight univallate hillfort situated on the upper west facing slopes of a ridge overlooking the valley of a tributary to the Thelsford Brook. The hillfort survives as an irregular pentagonal plan enclosure defined by a single rampart and largely buried outer ditch which is preserved differentially as an earthwork around the circuit. It is best preserved to the north and north west where the rampart bank has a maximum height of 2.5m, to the west the bank is up to 1.5m high, to the east 0.8m high and to the south although in places it stands up to 1m high the bank survives least well. The hillfort covers a total of some 4.7ha and measures up to 218m long by 198.5m wide internally. There are at least six gaps in the circuit, but of these only those to the north-east or east are presumed to be original. There are additional abutting field boundaries at the south-east, south-west and northern angles which some sources suggested were contemporary, but these are now thought to be later than the hillfort. The hillfort has also been identified as a possible medieval woodland management feature, but most sources now believe it is early perhaps even Bronze Age in origin.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes, generally between 1ha and 10ha in size, situated on or close to hilltops and defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth - fifth centuries BC), the majority being used for 150 to 200 years prior to their abandonment or reconstruction. Slight univallate hillforts have generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places of refuge and permanent settlements. The earthworks generally include a rampart, narrow level berm, external ditch and counterscarp bank, while access to the interior is usually provided by two entrances comprising either simple gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Postholes revealed by excavation indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways while more elaborate features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few examples. Internal features included timber or stone round houses; large storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. Slight univallate hillforts are rare with around 150 examples recorded nationally. Although on a national scale the number is low, in Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. In other areas where the distribution is relatively dense, for example, Wessex, Sussex, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns, hillforts belonging to a number of different classes occur within the same region. Examples are also recorded in eastern England, the Welsh Marches, central and southern England. They are rare and important for understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities. Despite tree growth the slight univallate hillfort 550m south west of Tollgate Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, territorial and strategic significance, social organisation, trade, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape 335341
Warwickshire HER 715

Source: Historic England

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